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Slowly pulling the tree out by its roots

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The rain and gloom have returned to Portland–which fits my mood.

I have been feeling low the last two days. This usually means I’ve come upon an unhappy “anniversary date” of my life. This time I attribute my mood to a loss — some 10 springs ago — when my long marriage came to an abrupt end. It was a shock at the time, and for a good portion of the ten years following, it was an arduous journey for me and my children.

I like to think I am at peace with it now. I can see the gifts and am happily carrying on with the rest of my life. But it is days like today–when the anniversary sneaks up – that I am reminded of how terribly profound this loss still is for me.

Letting go has been an effort of slowly pulling a tree out by its roots — a tree with roots that are firmly anchored in the soil of every corner of my body.

In the past, I would have brushed it off.  Not taken myself seriously. Told myself I had a problem. I might have tried to yank the roots out by force, or been ashamed of my sentimentality. Now it is different. I take time. I move slowly. I light a candle to honor my loss. I let my tears flow. It is only me and my loss. I have nothing to prove to anyone.

I am not sure how many more times I will need to do this – how many more times I will need to loosen the soil and gently tug at those roots, until they suddenly and finally release their hold.

Maybe forever. Maybe never. Maybe it is enough to just keep trying.

As my friend says, and I believe it is true for me now, “I am not wise enough to know.”

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